A good plot is like a fine wine. It’s aged to perfection in the right temperature and conditions to bring out its flavor and develop its structure. An aged wine shows hints of flavors that wouldn’t be perceived by the taster if the cork were removed right after the wine was bottled. It opens up and isn’t so dense that you can’t taste the subtle layers of flavor.
A well developed plot, aged and worked through to perfection, is much the same. It takes time for an author to develop the layers of flavor necessary for the reader to feel pulled in and satisfied. Uncorking a fresh idea and pouring it out quickly doesn’t bring out the necessary layers of flavor. Ideas must be mulled and reworked over time.
My plots, however, come together really more like aged cheese than wine. Slightly smelly, packaged in a layer of inedible wax that must be removed before the plot can see the light of day, and completely full of holes.
Swiss cheese plots are my default but I’m hopeful I’ll learn the patience it takes for aged wine plots too. After all, wine and cheese together often make for a great reception.